Psychosomatic Symmetries

psychosomatic symmetriesWe know from our own experience about the mind-body connection. For example, if you were to imagine or visualize sucking on a lemon rind, you may very likely begin to salivate. Even though that sucking on the lemon rind is entirely of the mind, it can easily generate bodily responses.

It’s possible, with a little imagination, to lay out some interesting symmetries or parallels between our physiological body and our psychological mind. For example, we know we have a physiological circulatory system….but, could we also have a psychological circulatory system? We know we have a physiological respiratory system, but could we also have a psychological respiratory system? We know we have a physiological digestive system; could we also have a psychological digestive system?

Our physiological circulatory system carries blood and oxygen to our muscles and organs. Perhaps our psychological circulatory system carries thoughts and emotions into different parts of our lives….our family, our work, our leisure. Our physiological respiratory system oxygenates and fuels our blood; perhaps our psychological respiratory system fuels and supports our thoughts and emotions through the meanings we ascribe to those thoughts and emotions.

Our physiological digestive system takes in, breaks down and assimilates nourishment in the form of food. It also eliminates what is waste. Perhaps our psychological digestive system takes in, breaks down and assimilates nourishment in the form of ideas, concepts, facts and knowledge. And, it too eliminates what is waste.

Psychological, or mental, health, like physical health, depends on these systems working properly. Though not generally recognized as much of a vital system as respiration or circulation, digestion is critically important, and perhaps the most important aspect of this system is elimination. Most people know how it feels to be bloated and constipated physically, but may be unaware that there can be a kind of psychological constipation as well. If we hold on to ideas, concepts, beliefs and information which is waste, which is outdated, which is not valid….which is not nourishing, it is waste. If that waste is not expelled, it becomes putrid and stale. And yet, it may continue to influence our thinking and emotions.

Mental health counseling is one good way to facilitate the elimination of psychological waste. By talking with a professional, old ideas and beliefs can be challenged, and discarded, making room for new, fresh understandings and perceptions. Also, because of the intimate relationship between the mind and the body, physical exercise (which is a lot like exorcise) can also be helpful in toning the psychological systems of circulation, respiration and digestion, especially elimination. Singing, dancing, laughing and crying, though physical in nature, and healthy, also has a psychological counterpart just as visualizing positive mental imagery has a physiological counterpart. There is a psychosomatic symmetry to our lives.


 

Mind Consciousness – Occult Evolutionary Theory

mind

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

–William Shakespeare

Hamlet (I, v, 166-167)

There is an esoteric theory of evolution based on the writings of Madame H.P. Blavatsky and her school of Theosophy. It is such a vast and comprehensive vision of human consciousness that it is nearly impossible to grasp its full scope and meaning. This essay is a very, very brief and simplistic explanation of this grand evolutionary scheme. It is short and concise. It is in relatively plain English although perhaps used somewhat creatively. Give it a go…You’ve really got nothing to lose and just as even a grain of salt in the soup changes the flavor, so after reading this essay your consciousness may have a slightly different fragrance.

Man is a term derived from the ancient Sanskrit Manas. Sanskrit is a now defunct east Indian language particularly effective in representing theosophical ideas. English on the other hand, is quite limited; but, we work with what we have. Manas best equates to what today we would call Mind. Mind is considered to be an evolutionary consciousness. This consciousness underlies all manifest forms from the sand on the seashore to the stars in the heavens. Every molecule, every cell, every atom, all subatomic particles, are energized and permeated by this consciousness, by Mind, Manas.

Human beings are considered, from the theosophical perspective, the planetary apex of Mind Consciousness. However, Mind Consciousness is in process and modern human beings are, so to speak, an unfinished product. The teleological path of Mind Consciousness is a highly structured schemata which encompasses an incredibly vast scope of time well beyond the comprehension of modern human beings. The evolutionary thrust of Mind Consciousness is from total and utter unconsciousness through conscious differentiation and individuation to full conscious awareness of itself, in all its varied and multi-complex forms, as universal, boundless and completely unrestricted consciousness. This vast path of evolution occurs in stages called Rounds or Periods in which are a series of Races or Forms. Currently, Theosophists consider modern Man to be in the 5th Race of the 4th Round. Man achieves total, complete awareness of itself as unbridled universal consciousness in the 7th Race of the 7th Round.

Think of an Olympic race track with 7 lanes. Within each lane are 7 sub-lanes. Imagine a person running one lap in the first sub-lane of the first main lane, and then another lap in the second sub-lane, and then a lap in the third sub-lane. After the 7th sub-lane of the first main lane, they go to the second main lane of the Olympic race track, and go round sub-lane one, then two, then three….up through seven. And then they go into lane 3 and through those races and then lane 4 and through those races and then lane 5 (5th Round) and through those Races (sub-lanes). 6th Round, 7 races. 7th Round, 7 races.

Each race encompasses thousands and thousands of years gradually giving rise to the next. These years are measured in terms of Ages and Eons and Epochs. The term “race” is used in a very general sense of biological “stock.” One of the great problems of conveying esoteric theosophical information is the language and the definition of terms.

Each Round exists for several hundred thousand years, gradually giving rise to the next through series of geologically slow destructions and creations, alterations and mutations. Each new Round (lane) begins when the Race completes its 7th Race (sub-lane). So, in several million years, Mind Consciousness, i.e., Man, will have completed its sojourn through the 7th Race (sub-lane) of this 4th Round (Lane) and begin the 1st Race of the 5th Round; or, to use the race track analogy, Man will then begin with sub-lane one of the fifth lane. We’re currently in the 5th sub-lane of the 4th lane.

The culmination of this grand evolutionary journey is the 7th Race of the 7th Round at which time Mind Consciousness has manifested a material form, ie, bodies, capable of perceiving itself as universal awareness at which time any semblance of individual selfhood is completely dissolved. Modern Man, i.e., human beings, are currently enmeshed in an awareness of division and duality, which makes possible the sense of a distinct conscious self. The awareness of individual selfhood is possible only by contrast to that which is perceived to be “not self.” which comes about through a consciousness of division and duality, i.e., individuality. This is the very nature of this grand 4th Round. The major theme of the 4th Race too is Individuality (i.e., in division and duality). The major theme of the 7th Race is systemic and wholistic (vs. division and duality of the 4th). However, even the 7th Race of the 4th Round is still heavily colored by Individual Mind Consciousness as the entire 4th Round is boxed into the necessary and required phase of Individuation with its associated themes of separation, alienation and conflict. It is not until the 7th Race of the 7th Round that Unified Consciousness has truly and completely flowered, as a feature of humanity, several millions of years hence through innumberable permutations. The personal life we live today, is rooted in Mind Conscousness.

Modern human beings are the manifested form of Man/Manas/Mind in its current expression – 4th Round, 5th Race. According to theosophical thought, simian stock, such as the great apes, are considered “cast off” forms of earlier Mind Consciousness. They are the remnant manifestations from the previous 4th Race of this 4th Round. They are, so to speak, yesterday’s manifestations. That is, modern human beings do not come from apes; rather, apes come from Manas, Mind, as do we, and all sentient beings. According to theosophical thought, and contrary to popular belief, apes actually come from Man. According to theosophists, all material and sentient forms of life are manifestations of Mind, or Manas, or Man. In the1st Race of this 4th Round, mineral form was the apex of this manifestation; in the 2nd Race of this 4th Round, it was plant life and in the 3rd Race, animal life. Mind Consciousness is evolving, adapting and changing its forms of expression as it develops towards what is traditionally referred to as ‘Bliss.’

Modern human beings represent the apex of this Mind Consciousness in the 4th Round, 5th Race. “Human beings,” millions of years hence as Mind Consciousness manifests itself in its 4th Round, 6th Race expression, would look upon modern humans today as we look upon apes.

According to theosophists, Mind Consciousness is only recently entered into the 5th Race of this 4th Round. There continues to be 4th race momentum in the beginning of the 5th race period. The general theme of the 5th Race is a greater emphasis on social and cultural interaction over purely individualistic endeavors. Our dawning recognition of our “global village” is but a superficial precursor to this growing theme. The 6th Race emphasizes service and stewardship while the 7th emphasizes conscious ecological interactions amongst a myriad of interrelated systems. The general themes of each of these Races, and Rounds, can be perceived in operation even today because, ultimately, Mind is a whole system. It is only our current 5th Race 4th Round brain that perceives the world in division and duality, compartments and fragments. But, in truth, consciousness is a wholistic, systemic, ecological, unified field encompassing all the qualities of all the Races and Rounds in much the same way white light contains all colors and a drop of sea water contains the whole ocean.

Mind, Manas, Man is an indestructible consciousness imbibed with universal energy and cosmic intelligence giving rise to myriad forms through eons of time. These forms rise and fall, adapt, change and mutate. Destruction of one form is merely the precursor for the creation of new forms guided by a teleological force striving towards ever increasing whole consciousness, sometimes described as ‘a circle without center.’

At this point, if you got this far, you may be scratching your head and perhaps asking, so what? There is little if any practical benefit from this information. However, it can give support to Plato’s statement, from The Republic (Book X), “No human thing is of serious importance” which perhaps can help you more easily let go of serious yet superficial burdens you may be carrying which in turn can help lighten your load…and that could be a good thing.


 

What Am I Doing Here?

what am I doing here

One of our great psychological needs is meaning in life. Consequently, we often ask ourselves “what am I doing here?” or “why am I here?” However, that’s not a very good question because it leads to philosophical answers that don’t really provide concrete information upon which to act. A better question is “How did I get here?” Now, that question is extremely interesting because if you follow it, you get into biology, anthropology, chemistry, astronomy and physics, to name only a few. It’s not at all an easy question to answer and yet worthy of investigation. A similar question is “Where did I come from?” which to answer also draws upon many fields of knowledge. “Where am I going?” is a complete mystery so there is no use in even asking that question.

The best question, however, is “How shall I act?” The fact is you are here. You may or may not like it here. That really doesn’t matter. The only real question of any merit is “now that I am here, how shall I act?” To answer this question you do not require any knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc., etc. You don’t even need to get philosophical. It only requires some degree of self knowledge. The question “how shall I act?” is much more profound and much more readily answerable than is the question “Who am I?” That question, like the “Why am I here?” question only gives rise to speculations and philosophical bantering.

Of course, one may have a lengthy list of how to act; religions are replete with doctrines and codes of behavior. Our society has many rules of conduct. Yet, how many people actually behave in those ways!? How many people “walk the talk?” It’s better to decide to act like a slob and then actually act like a slob than it is to decide to be kind and then be cruel. That aside, the question still remains -one which every single person faces consciously or otherwise: “how shall I act?” To compound the situation, the answer may be very different in different sets of circumstances. Even if we do not consciously ask that question of ourselves, we have made decisions based on that question innumerable times and the behaviors we have enacted have made our life what it is today. If you are unhappy in your life, find your life without meaning or purpose, you can act differently and that itself can change perceptions about yourself and your place in this world.

And for those parents, teachers, coaches and managers who when confronted with a “stupid” behavior in another, ask “why did you do that” – stop asking that question! All you get is rationalizations. Ask instead “How did you decide to act that way” and you’ll get some very interesting responses. And, don’t settle for “I don’t know.” Ask them to take a wild guess. Whatever answer you get is arising out of their mind and is a valid answer.

Despite this information, there still may be a tendency to ask “what am I doing here!?” So, to satisfy that want, here is an answer. A reasonable answer to that question, one which will remain valid all throughout your life is, simply, “learning.” You are here to learn. There is no end to it; everyone does it to some degree or another. It can take place at any location, at any time and under any circumstances. It can take place alone or with others. It can be joyful or painful. It can be at play or at work. It can be serious or fun. You can even say that survival depends upon it; economic survival, political survival, social survival, racial survival….Without learning there is no growth, no progress, no maturing and unless that is taking place, there is stagnation, decay and death.

You’re here to learn; to grow, to progress, to mature. Survival depends upon it. So, the really, really important question is “how do I learn?”


 

What Can I Do To Improve The World?

what can I do to improve the world

 

Have you ever asked yourself what can I do to improve the world? It’s an important question. You won’t find the answer in a book, an online course or a Facebook friend. You might get lots of general suggestions, but the answer is very personal to you. I’d like to share a viewpoint with you which might help you answer that question, for you, or at least give you something to think about.

I’d like to suggest that by the mere question itself, we must necessarily put things into a larger perspective. It’s not just your view of ‘what you can do’; it’s also your view of ‘this world.’ Where do you think you are? Have you ever seen this poster of the galaxy, massive amounts of stars, a poster packed with images of radiant stars, some big, some small, some clustered into cloud like masses, some rather isolated….It’s a beautiful poster. And, way over in the lower right corner is this arrow pointing to a very small, almost imperceptible, little dot of light. The caption says, ‘you are here.’ And, that’s just our sun, not our earth which is so small, it can’t be seen.

It may be true that our world, or, rather, our human world, is going downhill. There are lots of problems in every social arena: politics, economics, education, health, and environment. The fabric of society seems to be falling apart. That does not mean humanity, as a whole, will end. Civilizations throughout time have risen and fallen. There is absolutely no doubt ours will fall. It’s not if, it’s when. In many respects, our current world situation is better than it has been. The problems we face are, in part, due largely to the success of our species. It’s an ironic paradox that success has led to so many problems and the possibility of decline. A fall, though, is just part of the transformative process. It is the universal element of destruction which is absolutely necessary for the universal element of creation. Both are necessary for progress. There is this ebb and flow, rise and fall, growth and decay. Historically, there have been very enlightened societies. Where are they now? There have been very corrupt and evil empires, much worse than we know today. Where are they now? I suppose you could frame it in terms of the battle between good and evil. But, that itself is part of the dilemma we deal with. They both depend upon each other for their existence…..Those who are very invested in fighting evil are dependent upon evil for their investment.

The solution is a kind of transcendence; a kind of ‘in this world but not of it’ attitude or view. As if we are each a little candle, shining its light, not really concerned about who benefits or not, because that’s not why the light shines; it shines because that’s its nature. That light never goes out, fully. One candle may go out, as they do, but lights still remain, new ones coming on as others going out. Some very bright, revolutionary, some so faint they are hardly noticed by the masses, but are by individuals here and there with whom that light comes in contact with….

So, the idea is to be a little light, way over in a small dark corner of this one brilliant galaxy. The thing about a little light is that it illuminates a lot in a dark place….Of course, some people will squint, some will turn away, some may get angry, and some will relish it. You have no control over who benefits or not from the light you shine, and, really, it is of no concern. It is like the attitude of unconditional love which is something like, ‘I love you, and it is no concern of yours.’ It is not about return or getting back. It is all about giving. We may think that we are filled when we receive love. But, I suspect that love is one of those qualities that we get filled with not by receiving it, but by giving it.

Fundamentally, essentially, basically, at your core, you are, like ever one else, light. We don’t realize this because of our senses, our thinking, our emotions, and our identification with the material of this world. But, look up at the night sky, see the stars, of which our sun is but one in a billion, and tell me that light is not pervasive, light is not everywhere. I even suggest that when looking into the night sky what we see as stars are representatives of a light field so vast, so brilliant, and so radiant, that we are blinded by it….

We are each little candles, a little manifestation of an all pervasive unified light field, in a dark, blind, world…..So, in answer to this question what can I do to improve the world? Shine your little light, be your best, highest most genuine self; it is helpful. If you are somewhat anxious or frightened about that, consider this quote: ‘who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark, or the adult afraid of the light?’

Mind & Body Symmetry

a mandal image depicting symmetry of mind & body

 A Mandala Image Symbolizing The Mind & Body Symmetry

We know from our own experience about the mind-body connection. There is a mind & body symmetry. For example, if you were to imagine or visualize sucking on a lemon rind, you may very likely begin to salivate. Even though that sucking on the lemon rind is entirely of the mind, it can easily generate bodily responses.

It’s possible, with a little imagination, to lay out some interesting symmetries or parallels between our physiological body and our psychological mind. For example, we know we have a physiological circulatory system….but, could we also have a psychological circulatory system? We know we have a physiological respiratory system, but could we also have a psychological respiratory system? We know we have a physiological digestive system; could we also have a psychological digestive system?

Our physiological circulatory system carries blood and oxygen to our muscles and organs. Perhaps our psychological circulatory system carries thoughts and emotions into different parts of our lives….our family, our work, our leisure. Our physiological respiratory system oxygenates and fuels our blood; perhaps our psychological respiratory system fuels and supports our thoughts and emotions through the meanings we ascribe to those thoughts and emotions.

Our physiological digestive system takes in, breaks down and assimilates nourishment in the form of food. It also eliminates what is waste. Perhaps our psychological digestive system takes in, breaks down and assimilates nourishment in the form of ideas, concepts, facts and knowledge. And, it too eliminates what is waste.

Psychological, or mental, health, like physical health, depends on these systems working properly. Though not generally recognized as much of a vital system as respiration or circulation, digestion is critically important, and perhaps the most important aspect of this system is elimination. Most people know how it feels to be bloated and constipated physically, but may be unaware that there can be a kind of psychological constipation as well. If we hold on to ideas, concepts, beliefs and information which is waste, which is outdated, which is not valid….which is not nourishing, it is waste. If that waste is not expelled, it becomes putrid and stale. And yet, it may continue to influence our thinking and emotions.

Mental health counseling is one good way to facilitate the elimination of psychological waste. By talking with a professional, old ideas and beliefs can be challenged, and discarded, making room for new, fresh understandings and perceptions. Also, because of the intimate relationship between the mind and the body, physical exercise (which is a lot like exorcise) can also be helpful in toning the psychological systems of circulation, respiration and digestion, especially elimination. Singing, dancing, laughing and crying, though physical in nature, and healthy, also has a psychological counterpart just as visualizing positive mental imagery has a physiological counterpart. There is a psychosomatic symmetry to our lives.